the house(s) that built me


     today my friend and I went walking around our old neighborhood, the one we and our other friends were convinced we dominated during the summertime and after school until the street lights came on or our parents whistled for us. Those were our prime days, when the strongest emotion you felt was falling off your bike, “high” meant good grades, and members of the opposite sex had cooties. It was the days before every one had to grow up, the days before divorced parents became reality, and before, sadly, some of us started dying off.
     needless to say, the trip down memory lane contributed loads of nostalgic feelings, ranging from good to bad.
     I visited my 2 old houses, which funny enough, were right next door to each other. Long story short, my family lived in one house, and my aunt lived in the one next door. My aunt moved out approximately the time my parents divorced, and my dad moved in to her house, while my mom stayed at our old house. It’s difficult to the max, I know. Our family’s original house was one we designed ourselves. It was ours, designed to our liking. At first, I remember it being as if it were out of a movie. We were so happy. The happy memories were Christmases when presents wrapped around the living room, playing with my little sister in our gigantic Barbie house, and movie nights in the living room.
     But as I got older, things changed. The fresh paint grew old and started chipping off of the walls. We outgrew our Barbie dolls, and smiles turned to unheard tears hidden behind the walls of our bedrooms. The yard that we put so much effort into trying to beautify with flowers wasn’t as beautiful when it’s filled with all of your mother’s items after your father threw them outside one night during a fight. I don’t remember the last time I walked in that house, because for some reason I hoped it wouldn’t be the end. That is why anytime I leave a place for the last time, I make sure to get one last image of it in my head.
     the other house didn’t have very many good memories due to the fact that it was a hard year living in those conditions. My mom was gone and it was just my dad at work and out at bars. I found myself caring for my little sister, making her meals, playing with her, making sure she washed herself, etc. Neither of us wanted to live there. We accidentally flooded the entire front half of the house one day during that summer, and that was really bad, however we find ourselves laughing at it now. Despite the difficulties of having to grow up quickly and the rotation of different women in our house, I don’t hate this house. I don’t hate either of them, actually.
     People ask me from time to time questions such as “If you could burn down your old houses, would you?” “If you could walk around your old house would you?”
     No. I could burn down my old houses, I could throw grenades at them and obliterate them to pieces, I could go in with a hammer and just go to town, but that won’t take away the memories of what I have. Here’s the real issue with that:
     It wasn’t the houses. It was the people. And every experience in the many different places I’ve been have just made me into who I am. “The house (s) that built me” literally built me. Piece by piece, they’ve all given me something, whether it be strength, or courage, or even listening skills. I’m forever grateful for that.
     Now there are new families in those houses with new coats of paint, new furniture, and most importantly, new memories. And although they may never know what went on in the owners before them, they’ll have their own things to worry about.

I am currently selling T-Shirts to raise money and awareness to child abuse prevention. I will be donating any money raised to a charity in time for VDay, a holiday that fights back domestic violence.
The link to order these shirts is right here: http://

Please help me break the silence.

Until next time,


Until next time,



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